Postgraduate MSc

Town and Country Planning

School of Science, Engineering and Environment





One year

Two and a half year

Next enrolment

September 2024


In a nutshell

The built environment is evolving and developing at a rapid pace globally, regionally and locally. Develop the knowledge and skills for future career success in this dynamic sector with our Town and Country Planning postgraduate degree course.

Designed to open up exciting career opportunities, our course is ideal for graduates and professionals from a broad range of backgrounds seeking to build relevant planning and property-focused knowledge and skills.  

Guided by experienced academics and practitioners, you will explore the theories, policies and practice that enable town planners to allocate land use and make decisions on development projects. 

International applicant? Please check international intakes for the latest information and application dates.

Start your MSc Town and Country Planning study journey

Register for our next Open Day where you can learn more about the course, tour our campus and meet the tutors

You will:

  • Understand the social, economic, political and environmental factors which influence and shape our urban form
  • Learn to identify spatial trends and global patterns in the growth and development of our towns and cities
  • Engage with political, economic, legislative and policy frameworks used to allocate land use and determine property development

students accepted

This is for you if...


you’re a graduate or professional keen to build a future career in town planning to ensure land use is managed, sustainability is a priority, and heritage assets are protected


you’re a current industry professional looking to gain additional planning knowledge to support career progression or diversification


you’re a knowledge seeker who enjoys exploring planning theories and past trends to understand the evolution of our towns and cities

Course details

All about the course

Tram travelling through Manchester city centre

In the UK, as around the world, there is an increasing focus on reinvigorating towns, cities and landscapes. The planning process holds a key role in achieving these aims by facilitating economic growth, delivering new housing and infrastructure developments and protecting the environment.

Planners are vital to the way we shape the use of our land for current and future generations. Our Town and Country Planning postgraduate degree course is designed to meet built environment industry needs and attract new planning professionals by providing formal qualifications.

Course delivery

The course curriculum is based on industry-aligned themes and topics. The 180-credit MSc award comprises eight taught modules, plus a dissertation. The 120-credit PgDip comprises eight taught modules. 

Flexibility is at the heart of our learning approach. You can choose to study full-time or part-time on campus:

  • As a full-time student, you will complete four 15-credit taught modules in each of your first two trimesters on campus.  In your final trimester, you will complete a dissertation worth 60 credits
  • As a part-time student, you will complete two 15-credit modules in each of your first four trimesters on campus. Across two additional trimesters, you will complete a dissertation worth 60 credits
Learning experience

Located just over a mile from Manchester city centre, we're at the heart of one of the UK's fastest growing city regions. As a Town and Country Planning student, you will find plenty of live case studies and examples of post-industrial regeneration planning policy in action. 

The course focuses on key themes and topics at the heart of planning.  Module topics cover spatial planning, place shaping, environmental impact assessment, heritage, sustainability, planning policy frameworks and infrastructure development. Learn more about the current course modules in the section below.

As you build a strong understanding of contemporary town and country planning topics, you will also explore planning theory and develop technical and transferable skills such as ethics, stakeholder management, conflict resolution, Computer Aided Design (CAD) and planning aid.

The professional practice module offers a 'real-world' learning experience working with an external organisation on a project. You will also strengthen your research and analytical skills by completing a dissertation on a topic of your choice.

Course team

Our Town and Country Planning postgraduate course is delivered by an academic team with extensive research and subject knowledge, with strong links to professional bodies such as RICS and RTPI. The team is part of a global built environment community with prominence in shaping industry best practice.

Trimester one (and Trimester two for part-time learning)

Planning, Theory and People

Learn about the nature and purpose of planning, as well as its evolution, the administration of planning legislation and the agencies and organisations involved in the delivery of planning services and activities.

Professional Practice

In this module, you will gain a 'real world' learning experience through the engagement in projects offered by external organisations drawn from the public, private and third sectors

Design for Change and Sustainability

In this module, you will find out about the impact of the macro/micro economy on planning and property development policies and practice, urban design strategies, sustainability, energy and project viability.

Plan Making for Place Shaping

In this module, you will develop an understanding of the planning policy framework, the different types of plans, development management and enforcement process. You will also explore the concept of placemaking for urban design, regeneration and conservation.

Trimester two (Trimesters three and four for part-time learning)

Planners, Professionalism and Society

During this module, you will develop the “softer” skills that are required from a town planner. These include ethics, professional practice, organisational structures, planning aid, CAD, stakeholder management, innovation, and conflict management techniques.

Spatial Planning and Infrastructure Development

In this module you will examine the origins, evolution, and development of spatial planning strategies for the delivery of infrastructure development projects, in the context of relevant legislation. 

Environmental Impact, Heritage and Society

This module will enable you to focus on the sustainability context within which environmental impact assessment procedures operate in future planning policies in order to assess the extent to which these procedures contribute to sustainable development, in the context of the impact of climate change. You will also consider the impact of population growth, rapid urbanisation and the protection and conservation of our natural, built and heritage assets.

Planning and Policies of Urban Environments

During this module, you will have the opportunity to study the evaluation of contemporary policies and tools for tackling the major issues facing urban environments across the world.  You will analyse the concept of a sustainable city, conservation and the role and purpose of planning in contemporary society.

Trimester three (Trimesters five and six for part-time learning)


This module enables you to develop a research proposal with clear aims and objectives related to your study. You will undertake critical analysis of existing research and engage in various forms of recognised research in order to produce a sustained, sophisticated, and logical argument in the form of a written dissertation.

Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.

What will I be doing?




Our learning approach is driven by real-world challenges experienced in built environment-focused workplaces and job roles.  

Campus-based teaching and learning will develop your knowledge and skills through a blend of theoretical, collaborative and practical methods, including:

  • Lectures and tutorials
  • Project work
  • Directed study
  • One-to-one tutorials (by appointment)
  • Guest speakers

Typically, lectures will introduce the core module knowledge with tutorials designed to provide a forum for tutor-led discussion and debate. Project work is your opportunity to conduct research and other techniques so you can develop solutions to prescribed tasks.

Our built environment department holds excellent links with local, national and international architecture, engineering and construction industry bodies and practices.  Throughout you studies, we will invite industry guest lecturers to share their knowledge and experience with you. 


All modules are assessed by coursework assignments, presentations, reports and project work. Formative feedback will be provided throughout the modules.

School of Science, Engineering and Environment

Rising to the challenge of a changing world, our postgraduate courses are designed to shape the next generation of urbanists, scientists, engineers, consultants and leaders.

Driven by industry, and delivered by supportive programme teams, you can develop the knowledge and skills to take your career potential further.

Energy House

The way UK energy is supplied and consumed is changing fast. Consumers and small businesses will soon be able to generate, store, share, buy and sell their energy as the government encourages the transition to a greener economy.

Through commercial and grant funded research, Salford's world-class Energy House laboratories help businesses understand how effective their products and services are in lowering consumers’ carbon footprint and reducing energy bills.

Industry Collaboration and Research

When you start this degree with Salford, you are also joining a community making a difference in industry, our local region and in our wider society.

Many of our academics and technicians who support your course also lead collaborative, interdisciplinary, high-impact work in a range of local and global built environment issues and challenges.

Discover how you are part of something bigger.

Employment and stats

What about after uni?


A planning-focused qualification can up up a diverse range of roles and opportunities. We've designed this course to provide you with the skills and knowledge necessary to pursue a career in town planning, either in the private or public sector, working in the UK or overseas.  

Equipped with a solid understanding of planning, there may be opportunities for you to specialise in a particular field, such as regeneration, spatial planning or urban development. You might seek a role working with a local authority in their policy, development management, enforcement or regeneration teams.

Alternatively, you might prefer to focus your skills on planning consultancy where you can advise clients such as Government, developers and housebuilders, on matters such as climate change, master planning and large scale infrastructure development schemes.


You might decide to take your subject interest further with postgraduate research. Our Centre for Urban Processes, Resilient Infrastructure and Sustainable Environments is home to PhD and research study opportunities to explore how we can enhance our built environments at local, national and international scales. 

Explore our Doctoral School to learn more about research training, support and opportunities.

A taste of what you could become

A town planner

An urbanist

A planning officer

A stakeholder manager

A project manager

And more...


What you need to know


This course is suitable for graduates with a non-cognate undergraduate degree who would like to develop their skills and knowledge in the property industry and pursue a future career in town and country planning.  The course is recommended for applicants with an active interest in shaping and guiding the environment they currently live and work, and for future generations.

The course is also recommended for current built environment professionals who wants to formalise existing planning and development skills or acquire them to facilitate career progression or diversification. The course can also provide a pathway for applicants seeking to move towards academia or research in the future.


All of our courses are taught and assessed in English. If English is not your first language, you must meet our minimum English language entry requirements. An IELTS score of 6.0 (no element below 5.5) is proof of this, however we do accept a range of equivalent qualifications.

Read more about our English language requirements, including information about pathways that can help you gain entry on to our degree courses. If you do not have the English language requirements, you could take our Pre-Sessional English course


Please check international intakes for the latest information and application dates.

Standard entry requirements

Undergraduate degree

Applicants of this course must have a minimum of a second class honours degree.

International student entry requirements

We accept qualifications from all around the world. Find your country to see a full list of entry requirements.

Alternative entry requirements

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)

We welcome applications from students who may not have formal/traditional entry criteria but who have relevant experience or the ability to pursue the course successfully.

The Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) process could help you to make your work and life experience count. The APL process can be used for entry onto courses or to give you exemptions from parts of your course.

Two forms of APL may be used for entry: the Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning (APCL) or the Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL).

For more information or enquires about this scheme, please contact: 

Learn more about the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme.

How much?

Type of study Year Fees
Full-time home 2024/25 £9,450.00per year
Full-time international 2024/25 £16,380.00per year

Additional costs

You should consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.

International student scholarships

If you are a high-achieving international student, you may be eligible for one of our scholarships. Learn more about our latest international scholarships.

Apply now

All set? Let's apply

Enrolment dates

September 2024